San Francisco Landscape Architect | Japanese Gardens | Spiritual Gardens


Ennobling the human spirit

It dawns upon each age, a yearning of our souls to be free;
Where it is the soul that is seen first and not the outward appearance of form; Where the intellect is moved by the passion of our soul to understand all that is; Where outward appearance radiates beauty from its inward nature and beauty becomes a necessary condition of humanity.

“It is thereby assigned to art, that task of ennobling the human spirit”.

As we master the principles of nature and the universe, only then do they yield to man’s discretion.
To be able to transform even the most limited business and the most trivial object, we must not be satisfied to be free ourselves, but we must free all else around us.
“We must emerge from humble clay, from stony traces. Creative art with all its peaceful victories must embrace the minds unmeasured, vast domain. What it discovers in knowledge’s high places can conquer all. The higher are his urges, the smaller he himself, the greater grows his loving. At last at epics ripest hour, yet one more happy inspiration bright, the recent age of man’s artistic flight and then he will glide in the arms of truth’s full power.”

We must feel our own vocation as an artist; be convicted of the truth of the significance of beauty and the roll which artists play in the development of humanity. We must all build an image of developing and “unfolding” the potential of humanity. We must all raise ourselves high above our own age and time and impress on our own time that ideal we have generated.

I am greatly concerned about the mediocrity that abounds in our nation. Humanity bends and has sunk under its yoke. Is Utility the great idol of our time? Should all power be enslaved and all talents pay homage? If this is true, then upon this course the intellectual merit of art has no weight and it is deprived of all encouragement; it disappears from the noisy market of the century!
In contrast to this debased image of mankind which views human beings as beasts, we must establish an image of mankind that defines human beings in the highest possible way. Each individual carries within himself an “ideal man”. To agree to develop this truth in all of us is the great task of our existence.

The question of the meaning of life is a culturally optimistic concept of man, one in which we essentially accept man as a genius, a beautiful soul. This is the only condition corresponding to our inborn dignity.
“In order that people who are either too tired or too exhausted with material need, who are impeded by the forces of nature or by the cowerness of heart, may still find a way to their goal, their heart must be opened up.”
This is a prerequisite for being able to reason and to love. To develop the capacity for feeling and to be able to care for one another, improves our understanding and develops our ability to be effective in life. These are the most urgent requirements of our time.

For the artist to deserve the title, he must not loose sight of the fundamental advantages of a beautiful culture in spite of the incidental disadvantages. If we know of no other standard of value than the work it takes to do something and the profit that one can lay his hands on, then how should that person be capable of doing justice to the quite work of aesthetic tasks upon the inner and outer human being? They lack form; they despise all grace as if it were bribery and all elegance of manner as if it were a disguise. They respond to delicacy and greatness of behavior as if it were exaggeration and affectation.

For art to address its task, it must not be based upon sensuous experience as its source. We must elevate ourselves to the pure notion of humanity. To be just, to be kind to others, we must be able to assimilate foreign natures into our own. In order to develop the whole personality, to realize both knowledge and necessity, the education of the aesthetical condition of man must take place. We must understand the nature of beauty and its influence upon human nature.

In order to lead the aesthetic person to knowledge and to a greater disposition, nothing is more necessary then to give him an opportunity. In order to obtain the same effect from a sensuous person, one must first change his nature. And so it is the task of art and the artist to project through their work this ideal. Once the beautiful design and the grand idea is born, then the path reality must take is laid out; a path which human beings can follow to elevate themselves to their potential.
“Art, the dignity of man is given into your hands, protector be! It sinks with you! With you, it is arisen”!

Once people achieve a high degree of ennoblement through the works of beautiful art, they overcome inner fragmentation and become calm. Through beauty and art we imitate the creativity of the Creator. To unfold the potential of the human species, beautiful art produces ever new and better levels for existence, which did not exist previously.

I propose that all artists raise themselves high above their own time and impress on their own being and culture, the ideal that they have generated. If we all agree upon this high conception of art, however different various artists may be, then art in all its manifold creations permits us to see the One, the Eternal Truth and the Divine. Only then is art worthy.

Gjen-tara | Landscape Garden Design

The Art of Nature. The Life of Man.